A few minutes ago we pushed out to all members and brand new profile page!
We have done a total redesign of the profile page, one which we have been working on for the last week, which has gotten great feedback from those who have gotten sneak-peeks at it, and which allow you to view all of the same information as the previous profile page, yet in a much more condensed viewing area.
Previously we utilized multiple tabs areas about 1/3rd of the way down the profile page, about 1/2 down the profile page, and another one about 3/4ths of the way down the profile page.
What our new profile page does is push all of those tabs into condensed tabs at the very top of the profile page. Thus reducing the total tabs from 10 tabs to 5 tabs. By doing this we have gained an area where we can add additional tabs, which we have already done.
Here is an overview of the new tabs on the profile page.
This is the default tab area that is displayed when a profile is being looked at.
It displays all of the information that our previous profile page had. We have done away with the truncation of the biography and testimony, as we now have the screen-space to be able to display them.
The Blogs tab displays all of the same information our previous 3-blog-tabs displayed. "Recent Blogs", "Top Commented Blogs" and "Top Viewed Blogs".
Because we gained more vertical screen space we increased the total number of each section from 10 blogs to 25 blogs.
We have also migrated the "Blogs I've Recently Viewed" into this tab to better cohesion integration.
The Comments tab has received some reduction.
Previously the "Blogs I've Recently Viewed" was located under the "Comments" area because the previous "Blogs" area was out of room. We have now moved it into the Blog tabs as explained above.
Because we gained more vertical screen space we increased the total number of displayed from 25 blogs to 50 blogs.
The "Friends tab" has also received some major reduction.
Previously the "Friends" section contained three different tabs: Close Friends, Family, All Friends.
At this time we are highly considering the removal of "friend categories" (close, business, church) and doing away with the whole "friends hierarchy" structure of our friends/contacts system.
Our reason for this major change in our friends/contact system is two fold:
First: ChristianBlog.Com has become a fairly close group of world-wide Christians who consider most other members of the website as close friends. We know that if we would have changed the ability to have more than 10 "close friends", that most people would have just started moving the large majority of their friends list into their "close friends" category. Logically that makes no sense - but it is what people would have done because most people here consider their "friends" to be "close friends", from the perspective of how our website works.
Two: Friendship Hierarchy. We know and understand that in live there are "friends" and "close friends". Or, as some put it, "friends" and "acquaintances". In our day to day life that is just how things are. Even from a Biblical perspective that is how things are. Jesus had his "twelve close friends". Yet let us remember that when Jesus was asked by one of those twelve guys who would get to sit at his right hand, Jesus basically told the guy that it did not matter who sat where, because from a God-perspective, each and every one of them were of equal value. Friendship Hierarchy is a very legitimate aspect of our daily lives, even of our Christian lives (we must be careful of who we allow to get the closest to us). Yet none the less, from a God-perspective, we as Christians need to stop and realize that a brother or sister in the Lord is a brother or sister in the Lord. Thankfully, we know that most of our members here at ChristianBlog.Com will understand what we mean by that. For this reason it is our desire to do away with a Friendship Hierarchy all together.
In doing so, we will be doing away with the "Closest" and the "Church" and the "Business" category system (Friendship Hierarchy) that has been apart of the ChristianBlog.Com website for sometime. At this point your friends list management page has not been updated to reflect these changes. However, we have done away with these three separate areas of the "Friends tab".
We hope all of our members understand our goal here. Our goal is not to cause you discomfort, to cause you heartache, or to cause you to feel that all of your friends are of equal importance... because we do realize that you value some of your friends here at CB as "closer friends" than others. Many of us have real-life friends that use CB while others have never meet another member of ChristianBlog.Com - and it is safe to say that those of us who know (actually know in real life) would consider those friends closer than somebody who you added to your friends list because you enjoyed their blog. However, we would just like to ask you to stop and consider Friendship Hierarchy from a God-perspective. Consider how it might appear to new members when they see everybody has a list of "close friends" and that new member does not seem to be getting added to anybody elses "close friend" category. For that fact, it does not even need to be a "new member". There are thousands of members of ChristianBlog.Com that have a lot of "friends" in their friends list, but not a single person in their friends list has added them to their "closest friends list".
So, all this explaining explained: it has been decided to completely do away with the Friendship Hierarchy here at the ChristianBlog.Com website.
That of course, still leaves the issue of "family members". At this time we do not have a solid method of handling this issue. We have been working on a few different ideas but none of them have made us happy. We are going to continue to try to solve this issue.
Because we have done away with the Friendship Hierarchy (categories) and migrated all of the friends into a single friends list, we have increased the amount of friends that are displayed on the "friends tab" from 25 to 500.
The "Photos" tab works exactly like it did before. It displays your most recently publically viewable photographs.
The "Contact" tab is a brand new tab!
This new "contact tab" will allow you to either send the person an invitation (if you are not already their friend) or it will display a full contact form just like the one within the "private messages" system. They are identical in form and usage.
By moving this into the profile page, it saves one "click" in the process of sending somebody a private message.
Please note that if you are viewing your own profile, this tab will not be displayed - after all, you do not need to send yourself a private message.
The "PCI" tab is also a brand new tab!
For those with access to the "PCI" (Personal Contact Information) system, we felt it would be a great extra feature to add an additional "tab" to display the PCI data of the profile you are viewing.
Please note that if you are viewing your own profile, this tab will not be displayed.
We have greatly increased the level of account privacy with this redesigned profile page.
While our previous profile page had a fair amount of integration with the account privacy features, our new profile page now 100% integrates ALL existing account privacy features we offer. This includes not only the profile page itself, but each and every "tab" is now tightly integrated.
While we have always been confident in our levels of privacy (of which we are one of the highest in the blog service provider industry) we can honestly say that this is the first time we have truly integrated things exactly as they should be. The Account Privacy, the Location Privacy, the Ignorelist and the Personal Contact Information systems are all 100% tightly integrated into each and every tab of your profile page.
Oh and slightly off-topic: We have now integrated the very neat vacation/holiday feature into all of the tabs that apply to it, as well.
Left Side Navigation:
Many of you are probably going to instantly notice that our traditional "right-side navigation" is gone on the new profile page.
After way more experimenting that what we should have spent our time on, it was realized that removing the standard "right side navigation" from the page presented a much nicer page, cosmetically speaking. We also realized that having the main body of content be on the right-side of the page instead of the left looked much nicer.
At this point we are not even remotely considering changing the rest of the website to have a "left-side navigation"... but if it proves to be popular, we might consider doing it. We like it enough to at least consider it.
Left Side Friends:
Another change we expect our members to quickly notice is the new blocks on the left-side called "Friends" and "Mutual Friends".
These two new areas will show a quick (randomly selected) block of 9 of your friends.
The "Friends" one will show just your friends and is visible to anybody with permissions to view your profile page.
The "Mutual Friends" will be displayed to any other member of ChristianBlog.Com who is logged into the website and is your friend, and who also has friends that you have - aka: mutual friends.
This is a very popular new feature on a lot of social websites, so we decided to integrate it into ChristianBlog.Com at this time.
As anybody who has been around ChristianBlog.Com for very long knows... we value feedback from our members! We do not just say that to say it, because it seems like something we are suppose to say... rather we say it because we really do listen! Dozens of members can testify to this fact.
So, if you have something to share about our new profile page, and the changes made, voice your opinions!
Let us just be honest here... we know there are going to be those who do not like our doing away with friend categories. We KNOW that is going to be the case. So, rather than just get all bent out of shape over it, tell us you don't like it. Tell us to change it back. Tell us why you want it back.
That said, we know from a number of people who have already voiced their opinions about it (those who got a sneak peek at the new profile page) and who told us they did not like the change... after we explained the two reasons we presented above, the began to understand the "why's" of our decision. So, yes, by all means, share your frustration and disapproval. We can only know we have made a bad decision by the feedback we get. Yet also be sure to go back up this page and re-read everything we said about this issue. Perhaps (but we understand if you don't) you might just see why we took this suggestion, made it a decision, and put it into place.
I thought the difference between close friends and others would be I would ask my family to inform my close friends only if I were dead or really sick and needed prayer. Now they will not know who to inform if they checked into CB in my friends list and would probably not inform anybody.
I honestly love it
People behind Cb are truly a blessing from the LORD. Thanks for all you do! :)
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Thessalonians 1:3
I am happy with the changes regarding " Friends". I like to have the number of friends increased from 25 to 500. That's great to me! In the past, I toiled over whose photos to display, and am afraid that I might offend so and so, yet they are still my friends here.
I like it because we are all friends here, there is no need to distinguish them as friends or close friends, and only have close friends displayed only. When I displayed someone's photograph on my blogs, I also like them to display mine on theirs too.
The present system of only 10 close friends appears cliniquish, and somehow builds a invisible wall which is counter productive here as we are brothers and sisters in the Lord.
But I like the family category kept, maybe just 4 or 6 members will do. I noticed most people do not have family members joined as members too, which I find it strange. Don't we want our immediate family to read our thoughts and lessons from the Lord? Unless they refused to join?
I already have 3 family members joined as members because I persuaded them to read my blogs to learn from valuable lessons the Lord taught me.Please keep the category per se.
I have no other comments regarding the other items you brought up. Thanks for the consideration and your hard work.
I like it thus far, it seems more clean and neat as well as more organized. Thank you for all your work to do this. I, like ptl, would like to be able to still group certain contacts together, so if there is away for us to do this it would be appreciated, but if not I can live with it.
I just clicked on a friend's profile and saw myself listed as a mutual friend. LOL!
I clicked back on mine and realized that out of the nine currently showing, I have seen four of them around as of late. I clicked again and realized five were people I have never had any contact with other than their asking to be on my friends list. I am liking this less and less.
John, 2 small points I like to bring up but it is not so important, but if you could:
put a different colour to the pen name for male and female. I made several mistakes and have to check again and again whether I am addressing a brother or sister. Different colours will help, especially when commenting on new member.
add more smileys? is it possible...like a heart, a cross, a praying hand, a bouquet of flower, a hug, a kiss ... it it possible?
God Bless you John. Imagine still wanting to improve CB despite the financial difficulties you encountered. I will pray that God looks upon you John and bless you and your family. I know eventually CB will get over these difficulties and you guys will not be forced to make difficult decisions ...